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EA Admits to DRM Being a Failed Strategy
Filed under: EA, SIMCITY

Gamers have been frustrated with DRM since its inception in 2008. Even then, developers have pursued it as a solution for their greatest enemy: piracy. But it hasn't paid off, and after two attempts at making it work leading to disaster, EA is willing to admit defeat.

While speaking to GamesIndustry.biz at GDC, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau shared that he believes DRM has no future. He said:

DRM is a failed dead-end strategy; it's not a viable strategy for the gaming business.

The problem in this case is it was forced where it didn't belong. With Diablo III, it helps prevent the complete destruction of its economy; an issue that Diablo and Diablo II contended with. But similar to SimCity it was injected into a game that series fans expect to be able to play offline. Consequently, it was hit with a barrage of complaints.

SimCity has always been known as a series where you can login, continue to creatively expand your city, then logout. That entire system was turned on its head with SimCity (2013). The changes were simply too drastic and too sudden, severely crippling the game world size and removing the ease of access that made the series so popular.

At this point it's probably best that DRM is sent to the grave, and seeing EA fail twice with it is probably enough to turn away any developer who thought it'd be a good idea. Or at least we can hope.


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13 post(s)
Reader Comments
kreep69 Mar 28 2013, 10:02 am EDT
Amen and hallelujah.
  Jonathan_Leack: Want to celebrate?
kreep69: Like it's 1999 baby! :)
Batdog Mar 28 2013, 10:16 am EDT
So the question is, are they eventually going to drop the DRM from SimCity, or is the online aspect of the game too involved in the programming to get rid of it?
Un Om Bun [STAFF] Mar 28 2013, 10:19 am EDT
A shame really. Now pirates will kill pc gaming again.
Zulu Mar 28 2013, 10:49 am EDT
Pinch me.
irish_wolfhound Mar 28 2013, 11:19 am EDT
"NO SHIT !" statement of the year.....
  Jonathan_Leack: It's kind of like when you know an alcoholic. You kno…
Reikhardt: So you're saying that EA have got liver failure and p…
Jonathan_Leack: Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.
Terminator Mar 28 2013, 02:30 pm EDT
Of course DRM is a failure. We knew that years ago!
Breedy_Mcfluff Mar 28 2013, 03:03 pm EDT
Winds also blow.

They couldn't realize this back when Assassin's Creed PC was sorta fucked? Logic is apparently a bit absent over in the EA office.
RenegadeCZ Mar 28 2013, 03:05 pm EDT
Now let's do it like CD Projekt, so noone will pirate the new games!!!

Yeah...
  LostPcGamer: People will pirate anything. Get used to it. It's nev…
KraGeRzR: Implying CD Projekt's idea was to PREVENT piracy. …
Chunder Mar 28 2013, 04:22 pm EDT
Like everything else in history, it takes a tragedy (in this case botching a extremely popular game) to force change.
Whisky Mar 28 2013, 04:52 pm EDT
Idle talk, will solve nothing.
  kreep69: Money talks ... and such as in this case, the withhol…
WeAreAllGonnaDie Mar 28 2013, 11:38 pm EDT
That guy is lying his head off. Oh, DRM is bad, but there's no DRM in SIMCITY. REALLY!?
So making an offline game online only is not basically the same then?
How stupid do you think I am.While you're at it, piss on my shoe and tell me it's raining, whydontcha?
barasawa Mar 28 2013, 11:54 pm EDT
DRM in one form or another has existed since at least the early 80s.
I still remember hacking hardware just so I could backup my commercial programs that came on tape. They had no-copy flags we had to work around.
When floppy disks became affordable, it was on there to, and yes, we figured out how to defeat those as well.
It hasn't changed. Companies waste money on DRM that just pisses off the authorized users, and ends up being defeated very quickly for anyone that cares to look.
run_like_snot Mar 29 2013, 12:06 am EDT
DRM started in 2008? are you kidding me? you must have a pretty narrow definition
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